I know some of you probably wonder what kind of garden Grumpy has at his house. Maybe it sucks, providing him with little justification for turning his jaundice eye on anyone else’s. Not that he needs justification, mind you.
Well, surprise, surprise. Grumpy’s flower bed out front looks pretty good this year, thanks to two plants in particular that I think you all should try.
The first is ‘Serena Purple’ angelonia. That’s the one with the spikes of bluish-purple flowers. Angelonia is the best annual (perennial where it doesn’t freeze in winter) to come down the pike in a long time. It blooms nonstop from spring until fall, doesn’t need deadheading, has no serious pests, and is very drought-tolerant. I water it maybe once a week, which is great, because the Grump loathes watering. Watering is like watching tiny dimes and nickels disappear into the soil.
You can get angelonia in colors of purple, pink, lavender, and white. There are types that grow upright and tall (to 24 inches) and others that trail (good for hanging baskets and containers). My favorite is the Serena series, because it forms a dense mound about 15-18 inches tall without any support.
The red flower in the picture is ‘Lady in Red’ salvia. I like the combination of purple and red. ‘Lady in Red’ grows taller and looser than the angelonia. It too blooms nonstop all summer, but you have to deadhead the faded blooms to keep new blooms coming.
Warning to Bird Lovers – Hummingbirds love salvia. A constant stream of male ruby-throats visits my salvia every morning and afternoon. Unfortunately, Ketchup, our cat, has picked up on this and lurks in the foliage trying to catch one. It grieves me to report that I found a pile of tiny green feathers by the flowers the other day. I don’t know whether hummingbirds like their flowers with ketchup, but Ketchup likes his flowers with them!